4,241. 11/25/2002

In late November 2002, “a special agent from the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, working counterintelligence operations in the French port of Marseilles, had received a phone call from a West African businessman. The caller said 20 barrels of Niger yellowcake were in a warehouse in Cotonou awaiting shipment to Iraq. The Navy report ultimately reached the CIA, which contacted a French internal security agency, the DST, as well as French intelligence. They sent another team to Africa to check the warehouse and other sites. ‘They both gave assurances from the French government that the material sitting in the port was under French control and wasn’t going anywhere else,’ the former CIA officer said. The U.S. defense attache based in Abidjan [Ivory Coast]…visited the warehouse in December [2002] and saw it ‘appeared to contain only bales of cotton,’ Senate investigators found. Despite such evidence, the Defense Intelligence Agency would continue to cite the original Navy report as late as June 2003.”  [The 25th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Bob Drogin and Tom Hamburger, “Niger Uranium Rumors Wouldn’t Die,” The Los Angeles Times, Feb. 17, 2006

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